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L I B RAR.Y 

OF THE 

U N 1VER.SITY 

or ILLl NOIS 

331. 1 
v\o. \- 2.5 



FOR STATEl\ilENT OF NUMBERING 
OF ISSUES SEE ISSUE NUMBER 
24 ENTITLED "MOTION AND 
TI^ylE STUDY." 



V 



INSTITUTE OF LABOR AND 
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS 




B U 



I N 



The 
Employment Act 

of 1946 



UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS BULLETIN 




I.L.I.R. PUBLICATIONS SERIES A, VOL. 1, NO. 1, APRIL 1947 




THE INSTITUTE OF LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS 
has as a major responsibility "to inquire faithfully, honestly, and im- 
partially into labor-manajjcmcnt problems of all types, and secure facts 
which will lay the foundations for future progress in the whole field 
of labor relations." Report of Board of Trustees, March 9, 1946, 
paqe 1031. 



Director: 

Pi 1 1 1. 1, IPS Bradley 



Editorial Writer: 
Sybil S. Sciiakfrath 



Researcli 



i)v: 



Syi!il S. Sciiakfrath 



UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS BULLETIN 

Volume 44; Number 48; April 7, 1947. I'liMislied every five days by the University of 
Illinois. Entered as seconcl-class matter at the post office at Urbana, Illinois, inxier the Act 
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Acceptance for mailins at the special rate of postage provided for in Section 1103, Act of October 
3, 1917, autliori/ed July 31, 1918. 



THE EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1946 

"FULL EMPLOYMENT" is a phrase which has been widely used 
during the post-war period. Its reahzation has been the hope and 
goal of many people in industry, in the labor movement, and in 
government. Widespread public and Congressional discussion of 
"full employment" led finally to the passage of the Employment 
Act of 1946. Its purpose is to assure a continuing national policy 
and program to promote opportunities for maximum employment 
and production in a free and competitive economy. 

Background of the Employment Act 

The idea of government planning to promote full employment did 
not spring full-grown from the economic and political air of the 
twentieth century. Behind the Employment Act of 1946 lie events, 
experiments, and ideas which led finally to this attempt of Congress 
to solve a vital national problem. 

Wars, and the ensuing periods of peace and reconversion to a 
peacetime economy, have for centuries bred problems of production 
and employment. After every major war in the history of our 
country there has been a period of prosperity or "boom," followed 
by a period of acute depression and unemployment. Some people 
have considered these phenomena as being inseparable from our 
economic system. Others have proposed ways of avoiding or mini- 
mizing them. To this last group belong such authorities as : former 
Vice President Henry Wallace, Professor Alvin H. Hansen of 
Harvard University, former Senator LaFollette (Rep. Wis.), Lord 
Keynes and Sir William Beveridge of England. Out of the think- 
ing and planning of many economists and political leaders the idea 
of government action to promote full employment began to emerge. 
In its simplest terms it was this: If, in our complex modern econ- 
omy, private competitive enterprise cannot avoid distressing and 
wasteful periods of economic stagnation and unemployment, then it 
is the duty of the Government to advise or assist private enterprise 
to bring about the highest possible level of employment. 

By 1931 the idea of government planning against unemployment 
was seen in the law creating the Federal Employment Stabilization 



n. OF \U- UB. 



4 THE EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1946 

Board. In private enterprise also, the efforts of certain industries 
to plan their development through voluntary associations, such as 
the Petroleum Institute and the Textile Institute, pointed in the 
same direction. 

With these thoughts in the air, and with these plans and experi- 
ments in the recent past, it is not surprising that as early as 1943 
many employers' and workers' groups of this country were already 
beginning to think and talk about what would happen after the war 
when industry had converted to post-war production and peacetime 
employment. Industry's interest in sustained employment was ex- 
pressed when the National Association of Manufacturers held its 
Second War Congress in New York in December 1943. Alfred P. 
Sloan of General Motors, Frederick C. Crawford, and others spoke 
of the responsibility of business for "raising the standard of living 
of the people, and for providing a high level of employment." 

CIO-PAC called a conference in January 1944 to talk about the 
problem of full employment in the reconversion program. Many 
among the conferees hoped that Government would help in the em- 
ployment problem of reconversion as it had in the conversion to war 
production. 

In April 1944 the American Federation of Labor held a Post- 
war Forum in New York. One of its sessions was devoted to a dis- 
cussion of full employment in the post-war period. Alvin H. Han- 
sen, at this meeting, called for government planning in the post-war 
economy, and Paul Hoffman, President of the Studcbaker Corpora- 
tion, set the post-war employment goal at 55.000.000 to 58,000,000 
jobs. 

Later in the same year came the Presidential campaign in which 
both candidates advocated government action to meet the problem 
of unemployment. Governor Dewey said in San Francisco on Sep- 
tember 21, "If at any time there are not sufficient jobs in private 
employment to go around, the Government can and must create 
job opportunities." 

President Roosevelt coined the slogan "Sixty Million Jobs" in 
his Chicago speech of October 28. and called for full employment 
with government encouragement and aid whenever and wherever 
necessary. Henry Wallace used the slogan, and in 1945 published 
a book under that title. He proposed that "the President should be 



THE EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1946 5 

directed by law to submit to Congress a national full-employment 
budget each year." 

President Truman, in a message to Congress early in 1945, 
asked for full employment legislation. He said, "The prompt and 
firm acceptance of this bedrock public responsibility will reduce the 
need for its exercise. I ask that full employment legislation to pro- 
vide these vital assurances be speedily enacted." Soon after the 
President's message, a committee brought to the Senate proposals 
for an Employment Act in the form of a bill (S.380). The fortunes 
of this bill in Congress indicate that the principle of charting a 
national policy as to employment was not easily achieved. 

Legislative Action and Debate 

In February 1945, during the fight over Henry Wallace's nomina- 
tion for Secretary of Commerce, his testimony before the Senate 
Commerce Committee suddenly made a national issue of full em- 
ployment. The way was thus paved for the Wagner-Murray- 
Thomas-O'Mahoney Bill (S.380) mentioned above, which declared 
full employment to be a national policy, and directed the President 
to transmit an annual national production and employment budget 
to Congress and to require government spending to create employ- 
ment when the size of the labor force exceeds the estimated number 
of jobs available. After Senate discussion this bill was amended and 
approved and sent to the House, where it did not reach a vote. 
Instead, H.R. 2202, a substitute bill, was passed, and this bill, with 
S.380, went into a conference committee. The result was a revised 
bill (S.380) which passed the House on February 2, 1946, by a 
vote of 320 to 84. The conference bill then went to the Senate where 
it was approved unanimously on February 8. It was signed by Presi- 
dent Truman on February 20, and became the Employment Act of 
1946. 

Legislative debate on full employment, and consideration of it, 
continued for nearly a year. Arguments for and against the bill are 
noted here in the order of importance given them in debate in 
Congress. 

Most of those who favored governmental encouragement of full 
employment reasoned that wartime shortages created large backlogs 



6 THE EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1946 

in unfilled orders for consumer goods and for facilities such as 
houses, hospitals, schools, soil conservation, and transportation, and 
that when the demand for consumer goods has heen satisfied, the 
backlogs in facilities could provide job opportunities to prevent 
wholesale unemployment. 

The chief argument against the bill was that it would destroy 
free enterprise by taking the responsibility for a high level of em- 
ployment out of the hands of private industry and placing it in the 
hands of the Federal Government. The answer to this objection 
was that by the terms of the Act, all encouragement and help would 
be given to private enterprise first, and that the Government would 
attempt to meet unemployment problems with Federal projects only 
when private enterprise was unable to meet those problems. 

Critics of the proposed planning agency, the Council of Eco- 
nomic Advisers, pointed to the extremely erroneous forecasts of 
important Government economists in the fall of 1945 that the 
country would have a serious period of unemployment in the spring 
of 1946. They saw these erroneous forecasts as evidence of the 
fallibility of the forecast method of anticipating depression. On the 
other hand, supporters of the procedure answered that such criti- 
cism is not valid because the conditions of this recent period were 
wholly abnormal. 

Many opponents of the Act objected to the implication that the 
Government would use public works to relieve unemployment, and 
that the result would be a return to what was termed the "leaf- 
raking" days of the Roosevelt administration. Advocates of the bill 
declared that the Act was to insure against such conditions — that 
necessary public works, which would be undertaken with Govern- 
ment funds in any case, would be planned and executed in view of 
the President's Economic Report and with foreseeable unemploy- 
ment trends in mind. In this way. they declared, there would be 
a real and useful effort to avoid unemployment and at the same time 
a more efficient and purposeful way of planning necessary public 
works. 

Another argument used by opponents of the bill was that such 
an act would commit the Federal Government to a potentially enor- 
mous volume of borrowing and spending. Those in favor of the 
bill answered that the reverse would be true — that the Employ- 



THE EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1946 7 

ment Act would help to balance the budget by providing a high 
national income based on a high level of employment. 

A fourth argument against the Act was that it would give to the 
Federal Government broad powers, already used in wartime, to 
control prices, wages, and production. The answer to this objection 
was that by the provisions of the Act all appropriations for its 
operation and all decisions on the means used by the Government 
to increase employment, and even the question of whether any 
means are to be used or not, would rest with Congress, and would 
so still be in the hands of the people's representatives. 

Yet another objection was that the work done by the Council 
of Economic Advisers would duplicate work capable of being done 
or already being done by experts in other government agencies. It 
was pointed out in reply that no one existing agency could give full 
time and effort to the preparation of such an Economic Report to 
the President as the Act called for. The Council could not only rely 
on other government agencies, but could also consult non-govern- 
mental agencies such as Brookings Institution, research agencies of 
labor organizations, employers' associations, and others in its as- 
sembly, coordination, and interpretation of economic facts for the 
President. 

The legislative debate reported above brought about certain 
modifications in the Act.* The most noteworthy of these was in 
the definition of aim. Though the Act has often been called the 
"Full Employment Act," it actually aims at "maximum employ- 
ment" rather than at any specific goal such as "sixty million jobs." 
We see between the wartime beginnings of the idea and the Act 
passed by Congress, a change in the concept of full employment. 
As the proposed bill was revised in Congress, the definition grad- 
ually became less specific. In its final form the Act in effect sets a 
goal of maximum employment opportunity for those able, willing, 

* Section 2 of the Act reads: "It is the continuing poHcy and responsibility 
of the Federal Government to use all practicable means consistent with its 
needs and obligations and other essential considerations of national policy, with 
the assistance and cooperation of industry, agriculture, labor, and State and 
local governments to coordinate and utilize all its plans, functions, and resources 
for the purpose of creating and maintaining, in a manner calculated to foster 
and promote free competitive enterprise and the general welfare, conditions 
under which there will be afforded useful employment opportunities, including 
self-employment, for those able, willing, and seeking to work, and to promote 
maximum employment, production, and purchasing power." 



8 THE EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1946 

and seeking to work." The President had asked for "full enii^loy- 
nient" legislation, as we ha\c noted, and the hill which the Senate 
originally passed called for "full employment." The House amended 
this to read "a high level of employment." Finally the conference 
committee of Senators and Representatives hit upon the compro- 
mise of "maximum employment, production, and purchasing 
power." 

The revision by Congress of the original proposals of the hill 
has resulted in a compromise in title, definition, and provision. The 
compromise is regarded by many as a weakening of the force of 
the Act. Though it is possible to read "full employment" into the 
phrase "maximum employment," it is a less definite phrase. The 
definition of full or maximum employment in the Act has under- 
gone a toning down. The phrase "those able, willing, and seeking to 
work" is. of course, more vague than "sixty million jobs," though 
perhaps more possible of attainment. The original idea of a Full 
Employment x^ct was that Government should "guarantee" employ- 
ment. This idea was put forth by Henry Wallace, John Pierson, 
and other proponents of the Act, and was in the bill originally 
passed by the Senate. The Compromise, however, softened this pro- 
posal with such phrases as: "... it is the . . . responsibility of 
the Federal Government ... to coordinate its plans for the pur- 
pose of creating . . . conditions under wdiich there will be afforded 
useful employment opportunities. ..." In the end, the idea of 
the Government's "guaranteeing full employment" became that of 
the Government's "promoting maximum employment, production, 
and purchasing power." 

On the other hand, some of the revision of the bill is regarded 
as strengthening its power and effectiveness. The Council of Eco- 
nomic Advisers in its first report pointed out that while the Act is 
referred to as a "much watered-down version" it is. in fact, "a 
broad enabling act of great flexibility." The Council looked upon 
the revisions that gave the Act general rather than specific powers 
as improvements which would allow the President, the Council, and 
Congress greater scope in dealing with the problems of unem- 
ployment. 

To attain iIk- [)uri)oses set forth by the Act, two agencies are 
provided for: an Advisory Council, appointed by the President, and 
a joint Congressional Committee. 



THE EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1946 9 

The Council of Economic Advisers and Its Report 

The Council of Economic Advisers is composed of three economic 
experts assisted by a small stafif* who will provide the President 
with a complete annual advance estimate of national production, 
savings, investment, and employment for the coming year. The 
Council is to gather timely and authoritative information on eco- 
nomic developments and economic trends, both current and pro- 
spective. It is to analyze and interpret such information in the light 
of the purpose of the Act to determine whether such developments 
and trends are interfering or are likely to interfere with the achieve- 
ment of maximum employment, production, and purchasing power. 
It is to appraise the programs of the Federal Government to de- 
termine the extent to which such programs are contributing to the 
purpose of the Act. Finally, it is to develop and report to the Presi- 
dent in December of each year recommendations on such national 
economic policies as will foster and promote free competitive enter- 
prise, avoid economic fluctuations or at least diminish the effects 
of such fluctuations, and maintain employment, production, and 
purchasing power. 

In December 1946 the Council issued its first annual report. 
The text of the report is brief and general. Eight of its twenty-one 
pages are devoted to the history of the Employment Act and to an 
analysis of the obligations placed by the Act upon the Council. A 
second section of ten pages discusses briefly several conflicting views 
of the causes and cures for fluctuations in production and employ- 
ment. Only in the last three pages does the Council look into the 
future and weigh the probability of continuing our present high 
level of employment. The Council sees some possibility that this 
high level of employment might continue indefinitely, if world 
peace is maintained, and if labor, management, agriculture, and 

* The President appointed John D. Clark, Leon H. KeyserHng, and Edwin 
G. Nourse to the Economic Advisory Council. Nourse, the chairman, is an 
outstanding agricultural economist, author of books on farm economy, and 
former president of Brookings Institution. Keyserling had previously been 
general counsel of the National Housing Agency, and Clark was professor of 
economics at the University of Nebraska. 

The original staff of the Council includes: Gerhard Colm of the Budget 
Bureau; Carl Shoup of Columbia University; William Stead, former vice- 
president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank; Donald Wallace, professor 
at Williams College and formerly a key staff member of OPA ; Robert Warren, 
economist of the Federal Reserve Board ; Fred Waugh, agricultural adviser for 
OWMR; and Wilson Wright, a prominent business economist. 



10 THE EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1946 

government will act wisely and together. Accompanying the Re- 
port, but not published with it. were the charts and tables depicting 
recent price changes and employment trends. These charts and 
tables contain the essentials of tlje Report, and make up in concrete 
detail and evidence what the text of the Report lacks through its 
general and superficial nature. Upon these charts and tables the 
President based his report to Congress, and they appeared in his 
report afterwards as an appendix. The most significant of the tables 
are to be found on pages 15-20 of this bulletin. 

The Economic Report of the President 

On the basis of the Report of the Advisory Council, the President 
must, by the terms of the Act. transmit to Congress, at the begin- 
ning of each regular session, an Economic Report containing: 

(1) information on levels of employment, production, and purchas- 
ing power existing in the United States, and such levels as would be 
needed to carry out the purpose of the Act; 

(2) a statement of current and foreseeable trends in the levels of 
employment, production, and purchasing power; 

(3) a review of the economic program of the Federal Government, 
a review of economic conditions affecting emplovment in the United 
States the preceding year, and a review of their effect upon employ- 
ment, production, and purchasing power; and 

(4) a program for attaining or maintaining a high level of employ- 
ment, production, and purchasing power, together with such recommen- 
dations for legislation as he may deem necessary or desirable. 

On January 8, 1947, President Truman delivered to the new 
Congress his first Economic Report. This report echoed the opti- 
mism of the Coimcil's annual report. It contained, however, a much 
more detailed analysis of our present economic situation and a list 
of specific steps necessary to maintain a high level of employment. 
It placed chief emphasis on the importance of prompt price reduc- 
tions. Price increases during the second half of 1946, the report 
pointed out. had dangerously reduced the buying power of con- 
sumers. Production cannot be maintained, it indicated, unless that 
buying power is restored and even increased. It can be restored by 
price reductions or by wage and salary increases, but price reduc- 
tions were strongly urged as the better method. Strong emphasis 



THE EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1946 11 

also was placed on the importance of good labor-management rela- 
tions, so that there would be as few restrictions as possible on 
production. 

The recommendations of the President included the following 
14-point program designed to assist in maintaining a high level of 
consumer buying-power : 

1. An increase in the minimum wage 

2. An increase in social security benefits 

3. Use of general tax funds to pay part of social security benefits 

4. An increase in the amount and duration of unemployment 

compensation 

5. Certain corrective labor legislation 

6. A general health program 

7. A housing program 

8. Continuation of present taxes 

9. Continuation of rent controls 

10. Stronger anti-trust laws 

11. An anti-discrimination law 

12. Maintenance of farm incomes 

13. Continuation of a reciprocal-trade agreements program 

14. Revision of patent laws. 

The first five points of the President's Report bear directly on 
labor-management relations. The recommendations as a whole con- 
stitute a long-range, well-integrated program of employment stabi- 
lization. Many of them are suggestions for Congressional action, 
and so cannot be accomplished in a short time. In the words of the 
Report, "Most policies designed to increase the stability of the 
economy are of long-range character. Fortunately, we have time in 
which to plan deliberately and wisely. ..." 

The Congressional Joint Committee and Its Report 

The Employment Act further provides for the appointment of a 
Joint Congressional Committee to consider the Economic Report of 
the President. This committee is to consist of seven members of the 
Senate and seven members of the House, respectively. 

When it receives the President's Economic Report the Joint 
Committee must study it, and determine the means by which the 
programs it recommends may be coordinated to further the purpose 



12 THE EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1946 

of the Act. Not later than February 1 of each year it is to file with 
the House and Senate a report of findings and recommendations 
regarding the main proposals that were made by the President. 
These findings and recommendations of the Joint Committee are 
intended to serve as a guide to the various committees of the House 
and Senate, such as the Committees on Ways and IMeans. Rivers 
and Harbors, Flood Control, Public Buildings, and Banking and 
Currency, in dealing with legislation which would promote maxi- 
mum employment. 

In view of the broad scope and controversial character of the 
President's recommendations, this tight time limit (February 1) 
would seem to make specific or detailed proposals by the Joint Com- 
mittee almost impossible. Indeed, on January 31, 1947 this commit- 
tee, of which Senator Robert A. Taft (Rep. Ohio) is chairman, 
issued a formal report, pleading that the brief time allowed made 
it impossible to comply with this provision of the Act. 

If the Joint Committee had made recommendations these would 
have been taken into account when the Budget Committee outlined 
a program of expenditure and taxation on February 15. Xow that 
report has had to be made without consideration of the President's 
Report. 

How the Act and the Two Reports Have Been Received 

In spite of its overwhelming Congressional approval, the Employ- 
ment Act of 1946 was received bv the nation with comment varv- 
ing from warm approval to bitter derision. Representatives of 
twenty-one national civic, labor, church, and veteran groups wrote 
to the President, asking him to sign the l)ill. and many others 
officially endorsed the measure. On the other hand. Raymond Moley 
called it the "Fool Employment Act," and described it as a "legis- 
lative monstrosity with the body of a wren and the head of a par- 
rot." James G. Patton, President of the National Farmers Union, 
attacked the Act as "an indication of our desire to do everything 
possible to carry out policies of scarcity ... a tragic admission 
of our defeatist attitude towards achieving a high production, full 
employment economy in peacetime." Professor John Jewkcs of 
IManchester, one of the framers of the British W^'hite Paper on Em- 



THE EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1946 13 

ployment Policy, had grave misgivings that the Employment Act 
would immediately cause serious inflation. 

As has already heen pointed out, a very tight time limit (less 
than one month) for reporting to Congress was imposed by the 
Act on the Joint Congressional Committee. This time limit made it 
impracticable for the Committee to give the thorough analysis of 
the President's Report which its detailed recommendations really 
required — and merited. Until this review has taken place and Con- 
gress has taken action on the President's recommendations, it will 
not be possible to test the effectiveness of the Employment Act of 
1946 as an efficient planning tool. Nor will it be possible to test 
whether the recommendations in the first report are themselves ade- 
quate to meet further needs. 

What then can be said of the Reports as blueprints of the plan- 
ning needs for a sound national economy ? The original supporters 
of the legislation thought that the chief function of the Council 
of Economic Advisers would be to forecast unemployment trends 
for an eighteen-month period ahead (from January of one year to 
July of the next). On the basis of this forecast, the Council was to 
recommend specific projects on which the government could most 
usefully employ workers who would otherwise be unemployed. This 
approach to the purposes of the Act was open to criticism on several 
grounds. One, already mentioned, was that forecasting unemploy- 
ment and planning public works to meet it was speculative if not. 
indeed, impossible. Another was that government expansion of pub- 
lic works would increase taxation or the public debt so much as to 
reduce private employment and make general economic conditions 
worse instead of better. 

It is evident that the Council and the President rejected this nar- 
row view of the purposes of the Act. Their Reports indicate a de- 
sire to attempt a much broader approach to the problem of insuring 
a more stable economy: the prevention rather than the cure of un- 
employment. It is obvious from the first Reports that the Council 
places chief emphasis not on any forecasts of employment or un- 
employment, but on an analysis of policies which wall promote high 
employment. They reject almost completely the approach that was 
so strongly urged and so bitterly opposed during legislative discus- 
sion — the approach of estimating private employment and ad- 



14 THE EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1946 

vancing federal expenditures to prevent prospective unemployment. 
Instead, they take the broader approach of urging a variety of meas- 
ures that should maintain consumer purchasing power and thus 
avoid a reduction in private employment. The Council has clearly 
shown that it has little faith in the usefulness of government pump- 
priming expenditures and that it will bend all its efforts to avoiding 
any occasion for a resort to such priming. 



EDITORIAL NOTE 

This is the first number of a Bulletin which the Institute of Labor and 
Industrial Relations is publishing as one of its services to the citizens 
of Illinois. The members of the Institute staff believe that there are 
many people in labor, management, and civic groups who are suffi- 
ciently interested in labor and industrial relations to justify this kind 
of brief, non-technical discussion. The Institute hopes to satisfy, with 
this and following Bulletins, the desire of busy men and women to 
keep abreast of important trends of thought and recent developments 
in labor-management relations. 

Each month the staff of the Institute will prepare a short digest of 
some one topic of immediate interest, emphasizing what appears to be 
its more significant aspects. Each Bulletin article will usually be the 
product of group effort. Signed articles of unusual interest by those 
actively engaged in labor-management relations may also be included 
from time to time. 

In the interest of brevity, no bibliographies will be attached to 
Bulletin articles. They are, however, available on request. Those who 
wish to have either reading references or more detailed information 
about any topic included in an}- number of the Bulletin may obtain 
them by writing to: Information Service, Institute of Labor and In- 
dustrial Relations, Universitv of Illinois, Urbana. — Phillips Bradley 



A limited number of additional copies will be furnished free of charge 

on request. Requests for lots of 25 or more copies will be 

fulfilled at a charge of five cents a copy. 



THE EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1946 



15 



The following tables are taken from Appendix B of The Economic 
Report of the President, January 8, 1947. 



Table I 
Income Payments to Individuals, 1929-46 

(Millions of dollars) 



Year or Quarter 


Total 
Income 

Pay- 
ments 


Salaries 

and 
\Vages» 


Entrepre- 
neurial 
Income 
and Net 
Rents and 
Royalties 


Divi- 
dends 
and 
Interest 


Public 

Assist- 
ance 
and 
Other 
Relief 


Pay- 
ments 
to 

Vet- 
erans- 


Other 


1929 


82,587 
73,346 
62,013 
47,414 
46,271 
52,916 
58,563 
68,055 
72,351 
66,166 
70,829 
76,237 
92,732 
117,285 
143,134 
156,794 
160,773 
39,786 
40,426 
39,683 
40,878 
163,6673 
38,314 
40,206 
41,723 
43,4243 


52,512 
47,602 
40,027 
31,103 
29,290 
33,922 
36,895 
42,067 
46,189 
42,851 
45,658 
49,700 
61,374 
80,407 
101,791 
111,734 
110,193 
28,627 
28,650 
27,174 
25,742 

(*) 
24,580 
25,957 
26,946 


17,199 

12,907 

9,531 

6,320 

8,006 

9,255 

11,436 

13,003 

14,162 

12,369 

13,441 

14,313 

18,599 

23,933 

27,161 

28,017 

29,737 

6,771 

6,803 

7,613 

8,550 

(.*) 
7,426 
7,584 
8,982 


11,811 ! 60 


421 

445 

1,432 

695 

485 

379 

404 

1,826 

526 

466 

456 

462 

452 

582 

1,473 

3,391 

5,624 

970 

1,160 

1,350 

2,144 

{*) 
2,183 
1,898 
1,704 

m 


584 


1930 


11,682 

10,237 

8,355 

7,303 

7,901 

8,037 

9,785 

9,891 

8,240 

8,891 

9,175 

9,761 

9,771 

10,389 

11,195 

12,223 

2,770 

3,159 

2,833 

3,461 

(*) 

3,033 

3,688 

3,102 

(*) 


94 

158 

326 

580 

829 

1,099 

672 

836 

1,008 

1,071 

1,098 

1,112 

1,061 

939 

943 

988 

240 

242 

246 

260 

(*) 

276 

282 

291 

{*) 


616 


1931 


628 


1932 


615 


1933 


607 


1934 

1935 


630 
692 


1936 


702 


1937 


747 


1938 

1939 


1,232 
1,312 


1940 


1,489 


1941 


1,434 


1942 


1,531 


1943 


1,381 


1944 


1,514 


1945 


2,008 


I 


408 


II 


412 


Ill 


467 


IV 


721 


1946 


(*) 


I 


816 


II 


797 


Ill 


698 


IV 


{*) 







1 Differs from salaries and wages in Appendix B, Table II, because it excludes employees' con- 
tributions to social insurance. 

2 Includes veterans' pensions and compensation, readjustment allowances (unemployment), pay- 
ments to self-employed, subsistence allowances to those going to school, part of tuition payments 
(payments to nonprofit institutions), adjusted-service certificate compensation, mustering-out pay, 
terminal leave pay to enlisted personnel, and the Government's contribution to family allowances. 

3 Estimates based on incomplete data. 
* Not available. 

Source: Department of Commerce. 



16 



THE EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1946 



Table II 
Consumers' Prices, 1939-46 

(1935-39=100) 



Year or Month 


.Ml 
Items 


Food 


Cloth- 
ing 


Rent 


Fuel. 
Elec- 
tricity, 
etc. 


House 
Furnish- 
ings 


Miscel- 
laneous 


1939 


99.4 
100.2 
105.2 
116.5 
123.6 
125.5 
128.4 
127.1 
126.9 
126.8 
127.1 
128.1 
129.0 
129.4 
129.3 
128.9 
128.9 
129.3 
129.9 
139.2 
129.9 
129.6 
130.2 
131.1 
131.7 
133.3 
141.0 
144.1 
145.9 
148.4 
151.7 
153.33 


95.2 
96.5 
105.5 
123.9 
138.0 
136.1 
139.1 
137.3 
136.5 
135.9 
136,6 
138.8 
141.1 
141.7 
140.9 
139.4 
1 39 . 3 
1 40 . 1 
141.1 
160.0 
141.0 
139.6 
140.1 
141.7 
142.6 
145.6 
165.7 
171.2 
174.1 
180.0 
187.7 
189.03 


100.5 
101.7 
106.3 
124.2 
129.7 
138.8 
145.9 
143.0 
143.3 
143.7 
144.1 
144.6 
145.4 
145.7 
146.4 
148.2 
148.5 
148.7 
149.4 

(=) 
149.7 
150.5 
153.1 
154.5 
155.7 
157.2 
157.9 
161.2 
165.9 
167.0 
168.7 

(') 


104.3 
104.6 
106.3 
108.5 
108.0 
108.2 
108.3 

(') 

(■) 
108.3 

(') 

(') 
108.3 

(') 

(') 
108.3 

(') 

(') 
108.3 

(=) 

i? 

108.4 

(') 

(') 
108.5 

(') 
108.7 
108.8 

(') 

(■) 


99.0 
99.8 
102.3 
105.4 
107.7 
109.8 
110.3 
109.7 
110.0 
110.0 
109.8 
110.0 
110.0 
111.2 
111.4 
110.7 
110.5 
110.1 
110.3 

110.8 
111.0 
110.5 
110.4 
110.3 
110.5 
113.3 
113.7 
114.4 
114.4 
114.7 
(=) 


101.3 
100.5 
107.4 
122.1 
125.6 
136.4 
145.8 
143.6 
144.0 
144.5 
144.9 
145.4 
145.8 
145.3 
146.0 
146.8 
146.9 
147.6 
148.3 

(=) 
148.8 
149.7 
150.2 
152.0 
153.7 
156.1 
156.9 
160.0 
165.6 
167.6 
169.1 

(^) 


100.7 


1940 


101.1 


1941 


104.0 


1942 


110.9 


1943 


115.8 


1944 


121.3 


1945 


124.1 


January 

February 


123.3 
123.4 


March 

April 


123.6 
123.8 


May 

June 


123.9 
124.0 


July 


124.2 




124.5 


September 

October 


124.6 
124.7 
124.6 


December 

1946 . . . 


124.8 


January 


125.4 


February 

March 


125.6 
125.9 


April 

May 

June 

July 

August 


126.7 
127.2 
127.9 
127.8 
129.8 


September 


129.9 


October 


130.8 


November 

December 


132.0 



' Usually surveyed quarterly. 

' Not available. 

' Preliminary estimate. 

Source: Department of Labor. 



I 



THE EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1946 



17 



Table III 
Gross Weekly Earnings in Selected Industries, 1940-46 





Manufacturing 


Min- 


Private 




















ing, 
Bi- 


Build- 
ing 


Class I 
Steam 


Tele- 


Whole- 
sale 
Trade 


Retail 




Year or 








Hotels 
(Year- 
Round) 


Month 


Total 


Dura- 
ble 


Non- 
dur- 
able 
Goods 


tumi- 
nous 


Con- 
struc- 


Rail- 
roads 


phone 


Trade 






Goods 


Coal 


tion 












1940 


^25.20 


^28.44 


122.27 


^24.71 


^31.70 


131.32 


^32.44 


^30.39 


^21.17 


^15.52 


1941 


29.58 
36.65 
43.14 
46.08 
44.39 
47.50 


34.04 
42.73 
49.30 
52.07 
49.05 
53.54 


24.92 
29.13 
34.12 
37.12 
38.29 
38.66 


30.86 
35.02 
41.62 
51.27 
52.25 
54.11 


35.14 
41.80 
48.13 
52.18 
53.80 
52.98 


34.04 
38.39 
43.48 
45.69 
45.49 
46.82 


32.74 
33.97 
36.30 
38.39 

« 
39.49 


32.32 
35.56 
39.40 
42.29 
44.07 
43.15 


21.94 
23.24 
24.88 
26.58 
28.31 
26.99 


16.09 


1942 


17.62 


1943 


20.21 


1944 


22.65 


1945 


24.53 


January 


23.71 


February. . . . 


47.37 


53.30 


38.69 


53.89 


52.89 


47.52 


39.75 


43.45 


27.32 


24.07 


March 


47.40 


53.22 


38.96 


52.26 


54.49 


46.51 


40.60 


43.51 


27.21 


23.97 


April 


47.12 


52.90 


38.80 


43.45 


54.42 


46.15 


/40.72 
\37.502 


}44.51 


27.69 


23.99 


May 


46.02 


51.56 


38.18 


53.75 


53.64 


45.91 


37.91 


43.83 


27.56 


24.03 


June 


46.32 


51.74 


38.95 


59.11 


55.50 


46.26 


38.87 


44.13 


28.46 


24.43 


July 


45.45 


50.66 


38.58 


50.66 


55.57 


45.64 


39.36 


44.92 


29.40 


24.40 


.A.ugust 


41.72 


45.72 


36.63 


49.90 


55.79 


45.10 


42.96 


43.27 


29.01 


24.37 


September.. . 


40.87 


43.95 


37.80 


52.73 


53.11 


43.90 


39.62 


43.85 


28.95 


24.79 


October 


40.97 


44.23 


37.76 


39.09 


54.05 


44.30 


40.54 


44.60 


29.17 


25.08 


November. . . 


40.77 


43.71 


37.89 


56.29 


51.97 


44.04 


42.02 


44.94 


28.88 


25.54 


December. . . 


41.21 


44.08 


38.52 


58.09 


51.85 


43.61 


41.44 


44.71 


29.12 


25.94 


1946: 






















January 


41.15 


43.67 


38.75 


54.16 


52.89 


43.29 


41.19 


45.14 


30.54 


26.21 


February 


40.58 


42.57 


39.01 


57.37 


53.04 


43.84 


44.37 


46.07 


30.77 


26.43 


March 


42.15 


44.79 


39.83 


58.30 


52.87 


43.01 


43.76 


46.31 


31.12 


26.57 


April 


42.88 


45.71 


40.13 


30.15 


54.29 


47.76 


44.09 


47.13 


31.40 


26.64 


May 


42.51 


45.10 


39.93 


34.20 


53.63 


46.39 


44.82 


47.48 


31.45 


26.65 


June 


43.31 


46.32 


40.28 


64.44 


55.23 


51.05 


44.93 


47.88 


32.93 


26.70 


July 


43.38 


46.24 


40.46 


52.27 


56.25 


51.78 


44.82 


48.06 


33.64 


26.63 


August 


44.98 


48.00 


41.89 


62.37 


56.67 


« 


44.19 


48.14 


33.81 


27.15 


September.. . 


45.41 


48.39 


42.34 


61.00 


58.49 


« 


44.10 


49.54 


33.76 


26.98 


October^ .... 


45.68 


48.83 


42.42 


62.54 


59.20 


(') 


44.30 


49.44 


33.19 


27.17 


November' . . 






















December'. . . 























' Not available. 

2 New series; includes only employees subject to provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act 
and is not comparable with preceding series, which includes all employees. 
2 Preliminary. 

Source: Department of Labor. 



18 



THE EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1946 



Table IV 
Average Hourly Earnings in Selected Industries, 1940-46 



Year or 
Month 



1940 

1941 

1942 

1943 

1944 

1945 

January. . . . 

p-ebruary. . . 

March 

April 

May 

June 

July 

August . . . . 
September. . 
October. . . . 
November. . 
December. . 
1946: 

January. . . . 
February. . . 

March 

April 

May 

June 

July 

August . . . . 
September. . 
October'. . . 
November'. 
December'.. 



Manufacturing 


Min- 
















Bi- 




Dura- 


Non- 


tumi- 


Total 


ble 
Goods 


dur- 
able 
Goods 


nous 
Coal 


10.661 


^0.724 


^0.602 


^0 . 883 


.729 




808 


.640 


.993 


.853 




947 


.723 


1.059 


.961 




059 


.803 


1.139 


1.019 




117 


.861 


1.186 


1.023 




111 


.904 


1.240 


1.046 




144 


.891 


1.204 


1.043 




139 


.892 


1.190 


1.044 




139 


.896 


1.197 


1.044 




138 


.899 


1.184 


1.042 




134 


.903 


1.256 


1.038 




130 


.904 


1.285 


1.033 




127 


.902 


1.254 


1.024 




113 


.909 


1.249 


.987 




072 


.903 


1.261 


.985 




063 


.909 


1.242 


.990 




064 


.918 


1.263 


.994 




066 


.927 


1.281 


1.004 




070 


.941 


1.259 


1.002 




064 


.953 


1.265 


1.035 




103 


.975 


1.274 


1.058 




131 


.988 


1.239 


1.071 




147 


.996 


1.321 


1.084 




165 


1 . 003 


1.474 


1.093 




177 


1.009 


1.457 


1.111 




186 


1.036 


1.468 


1.126 




201 


1.049 


1.480 


1.130 




202 


1.055 


1.459 



Private 
Build- 
ing 
Con- 
struc- 
tion 



^0.958 
1.010 
1.148 
1.252 
1.319 
1.380 
1 . 364 
1.352 
1.363 

1.361 

1.366 

1.374 
387 
383 
392 
396 
397 
397 



402 
422 
411 
423 
431 
444 
473 
482 
510 
526 



Class I 
Steam 
Rail- 
roads 



W.711 
.745 
.819 
.892 
.934 
.938 
.944 
.960 
.934 

.944 

.935 
.929 
.939 
.930 
.942 
.923 
.937 
.948 

.935 
.949 
.929 
1.045 
1.069 
1.117 
1.116 
(') 
(') 
(■) 



Tele- 
phone 


Whole- 
sale 
Trade 


;0.827 


^0.739 


.820 


.793 


.843 


.860 


.870 


.933 


.911 


.985 


C) 


1.029 


.934 


1.006 


.938 


1.013 


.951 


1.016 


/.952 
\.926« 


}l.031 


.926 


1.018 


.941 


1.027 


.944 


1.037 


.977 


1.013 


.959 


1.025 


.972 


1.045 


1.002 


1.056 


1.011 


1.058 


1.030 


1.070 


1 .095 


1.095 


1 . 105 


1.101 


1.131 


1.121 


1.143 


1.135 


1.147 


1.146 


1.135 


1.155 


1.129 


1.148 


1.148 


1.179 


1.137 


1.172 



Retail 
Trade 



W.542 
.568 
.614 
.670 
.724 
.773 
.751 
.756 
.752 

.763 

.764 
.769 

.773 
.773 
.783 
.793 
.800 
.796 

.828 
.8.^5 
.841 
.851 
.859 
.876 
.888 
.893 
.906 
.908 



Hotels 
(Year- 
Round) 



^0 . 332 
.348 
.386 
.451 
.505 
.550 
.532 
.537 
.529 

.532 

.532 
.539 
.547 
.555 
.567 
.565 
.575 
.585 

.604 
.602 
.600 
.599 
.596 
.598 
.602 
.614 
.620 
.619 



' Not available. 

'New series; includes only employees subject to provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act 
and is not comparable with preceding series, whicli includes all employees. 
» Preliminary. 

Source: Department of Labor. 



THE EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1946 



19 



Table V 
Corporate Profits Before and After Taxes, 1939-46 

(Millions of dollars) 





All Private 
Corporations' 


629 Large Private Corporations — Profits after Taxes^ 




















w 


•a 










































4J 














5 


o 
o 


ca 


•a 


CO 

CJ 


m 


> 


Year'or 
Quarter 


H 




0; 




"3 
(J) 


>. 




O -^J 

a c 


0; 'fi 




be 

. o 


c 

CO 

•5^ 


U 


CO 
3 
C 


t/3 

3 

O 




Si 

Vj 


a 

•Si 




X) 

n 
a! 


c 


o 
E 


.-7 


3 



i-. 




.2 

'fi 


O 

2 


c 

_C0 




£ 







c 




CO 


o 

3 
< 


O 


o 
Z 


o 


■OH 

o 


o-ai 

5 


3 


o 




Number of com- 






























panies 






629 
1,465 
1,818 
2,163 
1,769 


47 
146 
278 
325 
226 


69 
115 
158 
193 
159 


15 
223 
242 
274 
209 


68 
102 
173 
227 
182 


77 
119 
133 
153 
138 


75 
70 
88 
113 
90 


49 
151 
148 
159 
151 


45 

98 

112 

174 

152 


30 
186 
194 
207 
164 


80 
134 
160 
187 
136 


74 


1939 


6,374 

9,185 

17,050 

20,969 


4,868 
6,248 
9,141 
9,179 


122 


1940 


132 


1941 


IS? 


1942 


161 


1943 


24,908 


9,945 


1,800 


204 


165 


201 


180 


128 


83 


162 


186 


170 


149 


171 


1944 


24,077 
20,875 


9,757 
9,080 


1,896 
1,925 


194 
188 


174 
163 


222 
243 


190 
169 


115 
108 


88 
88 


175 
199 


220 
223 


187 

187 


147 
154 


184 


1945 


203 


I 


5,970 
5,887 
5,031 
3,987 


2,624 
2,624 
2,116 
1,716 


492 
508 
439 

485 


49 
53 
37 
49 


38 
42 
35 

47 


63 

77 
46 
58 


50 

47 
36 
36 


31 

27 
23 

27 


21 
21 
20 
26 


45 
46 
50 
58 


62 
64 
61 

37 


48 
45 
43 
51 


39 
38 
37 
40 


45 


II 


47 


Ill 


S3 


IV 


58 


19463 


20,000 


12,000 


(■■) 
























I . . 






323 
604 


22 
67 


-19 

49 


-34 
21 


-5 
51 


20 
26 


12 
37 


65 

74 


56 
62 


63 
66 


62 
71 


82 


II 


80 


Ill 




0) 


676 

(*) 


94 


31 


44 


38 


43 


42 


84 


78 


67 


76 


79 


IV 























1 Revised series; not exactly comparable vi'ith that used as a component of national income. 

2 Federal and State income and excess-profits taxes. 

3 Preliminary estimate, based on incomplete data and subject to revision. 
* Not available. 

Note: Detail will not necessarily add to totals because of rounding. 

Sources: Department of Commerce (all corporations); Board of Governors of tlie Federal Re- 
serve System (629 large corporations). 



V 



20 



THE EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1946 



Table VI 

Total Labor Force Classified by Employment Status and Sex, and 
\"eterax Status of Males, 1940-46' 

(In thousands) 



Year or 
Month 



1940 

1941 

1942 

194,? 

1944 

1945 

January. . . . 

February. . . 

March 

April 

May 

June 



July" 

August 

September. . 
October. ... 
November. . 
December. . 
1946: 

January 

February. . . 

Marcli 

.April 

May 

June 

July 

.■\UKUSt 

September.. 

October 

November. . 
December'.. 



Total 
Labor 
Force 
(in- 
cluding 
Armed 
Forces) 



,790 
,730 
,430 
,460 
,010 
,122 
,870 
,390 
,710 
,030 
,250 
,420 



67,450 
66,470 
64,770 
63,770 
62,410 
60,920 

59,490 
59,130 
59,6.50 
60,300 
60,570 
62,000 
62,820 
62,200 
61,340 
61,160 
60,980 



Civilian Labor Force 



Total 



Male 



Total 



54,230 
54,100 
54,490 
53,480 
52,620 
52,792 
50,960 
51 ,430 
51,660 
51,930 
52,030 
53,140 



55,350 
54,460 
53,050 
53,170 
53,190 
53,130 

53,320 
53,890 
55,160 
56,450 
57,160 
58,930 
60,110 
59 , 750 
59,120 
58,990 
58,970 



950 
530 
620 
140 
770 
456 
650 
660 
720 
840 
790 
380 



270 
130 
400 
650 
030 
950 

160 
890 
870 
860 
480 
660 
710 
580 
850 
820 
950 



Vet- 
eran2 



3,830 
4,990 

6,410 

7,440 

8,410 

9,240 

9 , 8.50 

10,380 

10,810 

10,950 

11,2.?() 

11,1 50 

11,380 



Female 



280 
570 
870 
340 
850 
3.?6 
310 
770 
940 
090 
240 
760 



Employed 
Civilians 



Total 



080 
330 
650 
520 
160 
180 

160 
000 
290 
590 
680 
2 70 
400 
170 
2 70 
170 
020 



46,930 
49,090 
52,110 
52,410 
51 ,780 
51,639 
50,120 
50,550 
50,830 
51 ,160 
51 ,300 
52,060 



54,400 
53,630 
51,400 
51 ,610 
51 ,450 
51 ,160 

51 ,020 
51,240 
52,460 
54,120 
54,8.50 
56,360 
57,840 
5 7,690 
57,050 
57,0,^0 
57,040 



.Agri- 
culture 



9,500 
8,650 
8,640 
8,280 
8,060 
8,145 
6,690 
6,790 
7,290 
7,750 
7,950 
9,090 

9,900 
9,090 
8,840 
8,810 
8,380 
7,160 

6,720 
6,940 
7,5M) 
8,170 
8,880 
10,010 
9,970 
9,140 
8 , 750 
8,620 
7,900 



Unemployed 
Civilians 



Total 



7,300 

5,010 

2,380 

1,070 

840 

1,153 

840 

880 

830 

770 

730 

1,080 



Male 



Total 



950 
830 
1,650 
1,560 
1,740 
1,970 

2,300 
2,650 
2,700 
2,330 
2,310 
2,570 
2,270 
2,060 
2,070 
1 ,960 
1 ,9.50 



5,350 
3,610 
1,590 
600 
450 
700 
490 
490 
490 
430 
430 
580 



480 
430 
930 
940 
1,210 
1,500 

1,770 
2,140 
2,190 
1,870 
1,890 
2,010 
1 ,760 
1,600 
1 ,580 
1,550 
1,520 



Vet- 
eran' 



520 
750 

840 
1,060 
1,210 
990 
930 
980 
930 
850 
830 
760 
700 



' An improved interviewing procedure, wliich resulted in a larger estimate of employment and 
a smaller estimate of unemployment, was adopted July 1945. Data prior to this date are not strictly 
comparable with subsciiuent data. 

-World War 11 veterans only. Data are not available for the period prior to November 1945. 

' Not available. 

Source: Department of Commerce. 



lOM— 3-47— 34964